Improvements and provisional pole for Romain Dumas at Pikes Peak
On the heels of the first practice day, Romain Dumas headed into the qualifying section for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Tuesday. At the controls of the Norma MXX RD Limited, he signed the fastest time of the day, good enough to take provisional pole, before other classes qualifying tomorrow. Even more importantly, the preparation work for this Sunday’s event continues with significant improvements to the prototype specially dsigned for the legendary race to the clouds.
Better on all levels…
The practice day on the top portion of the mountain proved to be valuable ; the qualifying session on lower portion were equally conclusive. Under ideal weather conditions to get the job done, Romain Dumas completed three runs on the section that begins at the starting line, more than 9,000 feet in altitude, and just before Glen Cove, close to 11,500 feet. He improved his time on each run and beat his time from last year. It’s the progress made on each successive run which made the day so satisfying for the two-time Pikes Peak winner.
« I think we can call that a good session » confirmed Romain Dumas. « In fact, it was more a working session than a true qualifying session for us. This part of the course is interesting, with quick passages, rhythm sections, and even hairpins mixed in. It’s perfect to take away a maximum of data. Compared to the previous day, we made progress on every level. We continue to fine-tune the settings on the chassis : the handling is better and better, the gain in downforce is big and the top speed, although not the most important factor, remains good. We’ve also made changes to the engine management system and that’s going in the right direction too. I’m enjoying driving the car, but I know there is time to be gained here in there. It’s nice to have the provisional top time, but it’s not our main objective. »
Driving the Norma MXX RD Limited, Romain Dumas dominated the group composed of the Unlimited, Open Wheel and Pikes Peak Open classes. The pole sitter will be determined this Thursday following the qualifying runs from the Time Attack 1, Time Attack 2 and Exhibition categories. The results will determine the starting order for the 95th edition of the event, the start being given Sunday, June 25 at 8 a.m. local time.
Following practice on the top portion and qualifying on the bottom portion, Romain Dumas will continue practice on the middle sector on Thursday between Glen Cove and Devil’s Playground, which is known for its many hairpin corners. « It will definitely be a revealing sector » he explained. « The characteristics are very different and it’s a section that can have huge impact on the timesheet. We should be good in cornering, but you have to have a good engine and a car that’s comfortable in acceleration. We will also work on the tyres with Michelin, which is an important part of our package. »
Driving the Porsche 911 SC 3,0l Gr4, also entered by RD Limited, Laure Many continues to learn Pikes Peak. She will also take on this iconic portion of the course on Thursday, featuring multiple switchbacks with breathtaking views.